Apr 19, 2007
Update- Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act signed into law by President Bush
It's official! On Thursday, May 3, President Bush formally signed the Animal Fighting Prohibition Enforcement Act into law. The landmark legislation took effect immediately and is expected to help law officials crack down on animal fighting operations across the nation.
On Tuesday, April 10, the US Senate unanimously passed the Animal Fighting and Prohibition Act, a bill that will increase penalties for animal fighting and for transporting animals and goods used in fighting events. The act was passed by the House of Representatives in March and now only needs to be signed into law by President Bush.
WSPA would like to congratulate all of our member societies that have worked for over six years to secure the passage of this bill in Congress. Several WSPA US member societies, including the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the American Society for the Protection of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and many others have lobbied Congress and encouraged supporters to take action to support the bill.
Animal fighting is a cruel and barbaric practice that has no place in modern day society. The animals used in fighting events, typically dogs and roosters, are bred and raised to be aggressive and are often given hormones and other drugs to increase their endurance and fighting ability. During animal fighting events, two animals are pitted against each other and are forced to fight often to the point of severe injury and death.
Additionally, animal fighting can also spawn other criminal activities, such as illegal gambling, narcotics trafficking, public corruption, and gang activity.
Although animal fighting is currently illegal under the Federal Animal Welfare Act, until now, violations have only been considered misdemeanors. The Animal Fighting and Prohibition Act would make violations a felony offense punishable by up to three years in prison. The act would also make it a felony to transport animals across state or international borders for the purpose of animal fighting, and would prohibit interstate and foreign commerce in knives and other materials used in cockfighting events.
“Finally, we will have the tools in place to help prevent this very cruel form of animal exploitation in the U.S,” says WSPA US Member Society Advisor, Philip Wilson. “We look forward to the swift enactment of this legislation, so that this abhorrent animal cruelty is stopped in all areas of American society.”
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